The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

i need to stretch out the timing on my pulla

souralli's picture
souralli

i need to stretch out the timing on my pulla

Just added this same question to a few older posts, but wanted to put it out there to a broader audience.

I'm making a big batch of pulla (taking a break from grinding all that cardamom right now!). It's 10 am and I want it to be ready for my kids to roll and braid when they get home from school (which could be as early as 3:30 or as late as 5ish).  So I have a 5.5- 7 hour window here).

Could I mix now and leave in a 50 deg room for a low bulk proofing?  Or better to mix in the afternoon and try to keep it cool enough that it doesn't overproof before they get here?  Any other recommendations?  We plan to bake tonight to give away tomorrow (probably won't have time to bake in the am but we could conceivably make that work if it really makes a difference in end result)

Also, if we want to set aside some dough to bake another day (these will be gifts and I'd like them to be as fresh as possible when delivered) do you recommend setting aside bulk dough or formed loaves?  I've seen both, not sure how much difference it really makes in the end product of the timing of things once removed from the fridge.  I'd happily experiment, but not on gifts.   ;)

Thanks for any thoughts.  -alli

 

dobie's picture
dobie

Hi alli and welcome to the forum.

Personally, I would mix now and bulk retard in the 50F room. I am not an expert on pulla but my thinking would be that the longer the flour and cardamom are hydrated, the better.

Regarding using 'sour' milk, there was a thread not too long ago that went into detail about that (I'm sure you could search that up pretty quick). But the upshot as I recall, was 'go right ahead'. I would add that particulary if it were recently and mildly sour, it would probably be fine. But place your own bets.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

Thank you, dobie!  Moving slower than I thought so may not need to retard the dough after all, but I'm thinking the 50deg room will be a good place to hold it regardless until the kids are home.

Decided not to use the sour milk for this purpose since I didn't want to upset the balance of flavors on such a large batch (it was more sour than it smelled).  We use sour milk all the time for pancakes and muffins so I'll save it for that.

I appreciate the reply!

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

Sounds like good calls all around.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

Here's the finished product.  Not terribly different from my usual bake, despite a comedy of errors.

The kids give it two thumbs up!  Thanks for the help, dobie!

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

I can't see the pics yet, (my fault, long story, not worth the effort to tell), but I will see in the morning.

Sounds like it worked out well.

I am a big fan of cardamom. If you would care to share your recipe and process, I'd love to read it.

Please don't forget the details on the comedy of errors, those are often the best (and most informative) parts.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

It worked out well enough, although I may have overstated - there was nothing that dramatic really.

Mainly I just made a mess of things, despite all my careful planning.
My timing was off on everything, temperatures (although I didn't measure that carefully) were all wrong, I added too much cardamom (two heaping Tbsp (phew!) which actually turns out not to be too much), added too little sugar (also not a problem in the end; but could the long proof have caused the yeast to consume some of the sugar?).  Left things too long, brutalized the dough with my 8 yr old.  Overbaked them so the breads were all a little dry (they never seem quite dark enough to me).  But they were good enough that two of them never made it out of the house.  As I may have said, a pretty forgiving recipe if this was any indication.

I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking with Julia, but am itching try try one that I saw posted here. I don't think you really want to follow my process....

dobie's picture
dobie

Pretty funny alli.

Yeah, well, the best laid plans...

Yes, the yeast will eat whatever sugar it can get it's little hands on, but I wouldn't let that deter me from longer proofs. In fact the longer the proof (within reason), the more sugars are broken down from the flour starches. Just adjust your recipe as you see fit.

All in all tho, it sounds like a pretty good day.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

Any day that involves Pulla is a good day!

 

souralli's picture
souralli

My timing was off from the start, with the yeast bubbling away while my milk was scalding. 

Got it mixed and ready for the bulk proof by noon.  Gave it 15 minutes at room temp, mainly because I got distracted.

Then roughly an hour at 50deg, at which point I panicked and gentle degassed it.  It ended up sitting at 50deg for nearly 3.5 hrs, then we shaped it and let rest for about 45 mins as usual.  It was a bit puffier after the bulk proof but not much.  The crumb seemed about the same as previous loaves:

This is all that was left by the time I got back for a better photo

Wish I had been a bit more scientific but guess this dough is pretty forgiving!

Happy holidays.  Got to go grab some of that bread before it's gone.....

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

I just got a chance to see the pics. Good job on those.

That's some pretty serious braiding you've got going on there. Is that pretzel salt on top?

I'll bet that bread's pretty tastey. I would guess it might work quite well as a bap (dinner roll) as well.

I'll take your word for it if you say the crumb was a little dry, but it doesn't look that way in the pics.

I don't know much about pulla (so this might be tabu), but I know when people make brioche, I often hear of them using an eggwash (sometimes whole egg, sometimes just the yolk, sometimes just the whites) or a milkwash to get a deep, golden brown exterior.

I think if you tried a slightly hotter oven, you might get a darker crust and moister crumb as well. Just a thought.

Anyway, good job.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

Thank you.  My youngest was the designated braider; it's his favorite part of the process.  I'll be sure to pass on the compliment. It's the only way we make this bread, since we typically save it for a holiday treat and it looks so festive braided.

It is indeed super tasty; we usually make rolls with the scraps (the kids like hiding things in the middle - chocolate, jam, etc) but somehow didn't have any scraps this time.   My next thing is to try making cinnamon buns with this dough.

That's pearl sugar (or Parlsocker) on top, not salt.  I usually add slivered almonds too (great way to hide the messy joint where the braided ends meet) but I wasn't sure who in the crowd was nut free so we skipped it.  I got the sugar at Ikea but I'm sure you could find it elsewhere.

Thank you for the great tips.  I'll be sure to try a higher temp (actually I should calibrate my over; everything seems to take longer than it should) .  We did use an egg wash (whole egg plus milk) but maybe not enough.  I had a lot of breads and a huge batch of rugelach to brush so I might have been too sparing.

Thanks so much for the feedback!

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

Your son did well.

I would suggest either an internet or library search on 'knot' making (boating, maritime, etc). There are so many possibilities that can relate to dough. Maybe a bowline roll.

Perhaps he could learn to splice the two ends together and then there would be little (if any) visible seam at the joint. It's a little tricky, but a good skill to know. And if he has the knack, he might enjoy it.

Pearl sugar. Yes, I've just heard of it. Amazing how things so common can remain so hidden for so long. TFL member Gerhard mentioned it not too long ago. He and his wife are Chocolatiers in the UK (if I remember correctly). You might find his posts interesting.

I would agree, that if you applied a egg/milk wash and the crust was that blonde (not that there's anything wrong with that), I'll bet your oven is probably not as hot as the dial indicates. That would also explain a little dry in the crumb as well. Just get one of those cheap oven thermometers and see what it says.

If you don't mind, could you post the recipe you used? I would just like to do a quick compare with others I've been looking at (and would prefer not to go to the library right now for JChild's tomb, altho it would probably do me good). I am working on a 'Mini Cini' experiment and I think this might be useful.

Thank you

dobie

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

Thanks for the PM. Worked perfectly.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

glad to hear it, dobie!  how did yours turn out?

here's the recipe, for anyone wondering:

from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan

Finnish Pulla

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (about 110degF)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds (note: I recommend using more; I used 1 Tbsp)

1 tsp salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature

4.5-5 cups unbleached AP flour

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted

 

for wash:

1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbsp milk

sliced or slivered almonds, for topping

pearl sugar, for topping

 

Scald the milk (heat until a small ring of bubbles is visible around the sides of the pan).  Remove from heat and let cool to 105-115degF

In a large bowl, whisk yeast into warm water, let sit until dissolved and creamy, abt 5 mins.

Whisk in milk, sugar, cardamom, salt, and eggs.  Add 2 cups flour and beat until smooth.  Beat in butter then add as much additional flour (1/2 cup at a time) until dough is stiff but not dry.  Cover and let rest for 15 mins.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 10 mins.  You can do all of this in a stand mixer, btw.  Shape dough into a ball, place in lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise at room temp until doubled in bulk, 45 mins to an hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and gently deflate.  Divide into thirds and roll each piece into a rope about 36in long.  Braid the strands.  For a wreath if you like.  Lift and place on parchment.  Cover and let rise at room temp until puffy but not doubled, about 45 mins.

Center a rack in the oven.  Preheat to 375degF

Brush egg glaze over loaf, sprinkled with almonds and/or pearl sugar.  Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden, taking care not to overbake.   Transfer to a rack to cool to room temp before cutting (good luck with this part!).

Bread will keep, if there's any left, for a day at room temp, lightly covered with plastic wrap.  To keep longer, wrap it airtight and freeze for up to 1 month.  Thaw still wrapped at room temp.

Happy eating!

 

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

Haven't started yet, but by Monday I'll probably post an update to my 'Mini Cini' experiment.

I'm going for a bite sized (or two) little cinnamon bun.

My first attempt was using (at 1/3 the recipe) the formula of Cook's Illustrated's America's Test Kitchen. I made a few mistakes, so am looking to improve on the results. I don't make a lot of sweet dough (so mistakes are expected), but 'tis the season.

Your recipe and their's are pretty similar. They use one more egg and 50% more butter, and I think I'm going to stick with that for the moment.

I was thinking some Cardamom in the dough would be nice, and so I will add it according to your recommendation.

I did notice the scalding of the milk in your recipe, which I did not do last time, but will do now

They will end up pretty similar I'm sure, just in a cinnamon bun form.

The roll I make is much the same size as the ropes that you (rather your son) are braiding with, and eventually, I think I might try that with the 'Mini Cini' ropes. That could be interesting. A more intricate take on a Babka, more or less.

Thanks for the recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

i look forward to hearing how it turns out.  you might want to look at this one.  It's next on my list to try, but probably not until next week.

Can't tell you how similar it is to the others since I won't have conversions until I go through the process.  I might do a side by side comparison but I'll have to see how ambitious I'm feeling - and how many helpers I have.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/26897/finnish-pulla

i also don't make many sweet doughs so i can't offer you any words of wisdom other than to have fun with it!  i love the babka idea.  i'm guessing it'll be delicious in any form!

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

That's a very interesting recipe. All ingredients are fairly similar to the recipe I'm using with the expetions of the butter and sugar being a bit more and the egg being quite less. At those proportions, my recipe would want 4 eggs, not 1.

I still can't wrap my head around the cinnamon roll version being cut at a 45 degree angel and placed with the triangular point up.

I also noticed that jark is adding the softened butter in the kneading process. That is actually not unlike the original ATKitchen recipe, except they were using a stand mixer.

What I did was cut it in to the dry as one might for a pie dough. I think I will stay with that technique for now.

I think I might boost the sugar and butter in my recipe, now that I am less fearful of a negative result. I was leaning in that direction anyway.

Thanks for that link.

dobie

souralli's picture
souralli

Sorry, haven't been able to get to my computer since the kids have been home on break...

How did things turn out for you?  I still haven't tried the other recipe but hope to do that this week.  I like adding melted butter as opposed to softened simply because it allows me to pull this together with less planning.  But again I don't yet have anything to compare my method to so can't say whether there is a difference in the final product.  I would think boosting sugar would be fine, the bread I make is only very slightly sweet.  Look forward to hearing how the additional butter and sugar turns out.

My guess is that the 45 deg cuts are mainly tradition and aesthetics, but maybe someone else can shed light on this?

Hope you're having a happy holiday!

-alli

dobie's picture
dobie

alli

That is the time to be away from the keyboard. Good for you.

I'm only on a quick break to check on a 'recipe' as far as the party upstairs is concerned, but I have done my best Tom Sawyer impersonation and have various children and adults working away in the kitchen. They seem to enjoy it, and it allows me a breather.

Here is a little secret. I did make my second attempt at 'Mini Cini's and they came out quite well. The first time tho, I packed them too loose in the pan. So, of course, this time I packed them too tight. Rather than clog the forum with an unnecessary post, I will post the third attempt instead (and here's the secret), I will call it Experiment 2.

And there is truth in that. Other than the form to pan ratio, the recipe is spot on. I cannot fathom any improvement. Your 'cardamom' inspiration worked out wonderfully.

I also boosted the butter, the cinnamon, salt (by a little) and the currents but otherwise left the recipe as it was. I just can't imagine how I could make them taste any better to my liking and it is only the 'pretty' that needs refinement.

Without a promise, I would imagine it will again, only be a few days before my next try and I will either post a thread on it (or let you know here).

Thanks, Happy Holidays. Gotta go.

dobie